What is Graphene and The contribution of Graphene to the development of battery technology

Aug 17th 2016

It was reported in November 2015 that a company of communication equipment published a latest product in a high-profile. The product uses Graphene as a battery material, which can greatly shorten the charging time and improve the battery charging capacity. This report caused bring to public attention in one stroke and arise the community's concern to graphene to a new height.

1.What is Graphene?

Graphene is a two dimensional crystal composed of carbon atoms, separated from the graphite material. Graphene is not only the thinnest material but also the most resilient material, whose break strength is 200 times higher than the best steels. At the same time, it has a very good flexibility, whose stretching range can reach to 20% of its own size. Currently, it is the thinnest and the highest intensity material in our nature. Graphene, called "black gold", is thinnest, whose strength is maximum and conductivity for electric and heat is among other new nano materials In a word, graphene is a kind of nanometer material with high strength, high elasticity and high conductivity. Graphene

2.Relationship between electrode materials and battery capacity

Through the research, it is known that the process of charging and discharging of the battery is actually a process of the "mosaic" and "detachment" of a cation in the electrode from the microscopic point of view. So,the more holes in the electrode material, the more rapid the process will be, the process is more rapid, which means the battery can be charged and discharged faster in a macro perspective. The microstructure of graphene is a net structure composed of carbon atoms. Because of the limit of the thickness(only a layer of atomic), the movement of the cation is limited seldomly. At the same time, because grapheme has network structures, therefore the electrode material made of graphene has ample holes. From this perspective, graphene is undoubtedly a very ideal electrode material.

3.The research status of graphene

Purdue University is studying on he technology to make the Nano Electrode Materials through a new and simpler way. According to the research of Purdue University, using Nanomaterial in the battery will increase the battery charge capacity and charge/discharge speed. The Korean company Samsung Electronics is currently engaged in the Silicon based anode material research aiming at adding graphene coating on silicon surface. If the research succeed, the lithium-ion battery life will be increased to more than 2 times. This research combines the advantages of the long life of the Silicon based materials and the large charge capacity of graphene materials, and focus on technology issues of how to establish graphene coating on silicon material. The Samsung researchers effectively expand the surface area of the anode by coating graphene on the surface of silicon carbide electrodes. At the same time it combines the lithium cobalt oxide used in cathode,which greatly improves the unit volume energy density of battery charging power supply and the life of the battery also increases to 1.5-1.8 times longer than he lithium ion battery sold in the bus market.

4. outlook

Graphene is a natural electrode material of storage battery. Performance of battery will be essentially altered, if the graphene nanometer material can be used in the battery technology. However, we should know, at present, the relevant technologies of the graphene are still at the stage of research in laboratory. Therefore, there is a waiting process for us to enjoy the various convenience of thegrahene.